Meet the Members of the Great Trails State Coalition

We are proud of our wide range of members all standing behind a platform for trails in North Carolina. Members of GTSC range from organizations invested in natural surface trails to greenways to Outdoor Industry and everything in between.

Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is the growing community of members and volunteers who support the trail, an official unit of the North Carolina State Park System. We work statewide building and maintaining trail, encouraging communities to create new sections of trail, and helping people hike it.

East Coast Greenway Alliance

The East Coast Greenway connects 15 states and 450 cities and towns for 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. We are fostering a safe walking and biking route through the country’s most populated corridor.

The Conservation Fund

The Conservation Fund, working with public, private and nonprofit partners, protects America’s legacy of land and water resources through land acquisition, sustainable community and economic development, and leadership training, emphasizing the integration of economic and environmental goals.

Carolina Thread Trail

The Carolina Thread Trail is a regional network of connected greenways, trails and blueways that reaches 15 counties, 2 states and 2.9 million people. There are over 300 miles of trails and 170 miles of blueway open to the public – linking people to places, and communities to each other. 

Piedmont Legacy Trails

Piedmont Legacy Trails is the trails collective in the Piedmont Triad whose primary goal is to highlight our natural places, connect trail efforts, and give voice to regional trail interests for the the benefit of our communities.

Triangle Trails

Triangle Trails is a newly launched collaboration between government, business, anchor institutions and civic leaders to make the Research Triangle Region a national leader in greenways and trails.

Bike Walk NC

BikeWalk NC is the statewide advocacy organization for bicyclists and pedestrians. We work through education, advocacy and promotion to make it safer and more accessible to walk and bike for transportation, recreation, and health. Walkable, bicycle-friendly communities are more equitable and economically vibrant.

Conserving Carolina

Conserving Carolina’s mission is to protect, restore, and inspire appreciation of our natural world. We serve part of Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.

Rails to Trails Conservancy

At Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), we believe that communities are healthier and happier when trail networks are central to their design. Since 1986, RTC has worked to bring the power of trails to more communities across the country, serving as the national voice for the rail-trail movement.

AARP of North Carolina

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that empowers people to choose how they live as they age. Enhancing the quality of life for all as we age—not just serving our nearly 38 million members—is our mission. At its heart, the work that AARP and its affiliates do can be summed up in just 12 words: “We fight for and equip each individual to live their best life.” It’s all about real possibilities.

Blue Ridge Conservancy

Blue Ridge Conservancy partners with landowners and local communities to permanently protect natural resources with agricultural, cultural, recreational, ecological, and scenic value in northwest North Carolina. Part of our mission is to expand public access and recreational opportunities.

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Friends of the Fonta Flora State Trail

The mission of F3ST is to bring together communities and volunteers to build, maintain, and promote the Fonta Flora State Trail connecting Buncombe, McDowell, and Burke counties for the enjoyment and education of people.


We are a collective group of civil engineers, landscape architects, planners, scientists and surveyors that collaborate to approach projects with the goal to create a meaningful experience for both our clients and the end-users that will explore the places we help create. 


Alta Planning + Design specializes in the planning, design, engineering, and implementation of bicycle, pedestrian, park, and trail facilities and systems.

Destination by Design

We help communities plan, design, and promote vibrant Main Streets, destination-quality trails, recreation areas, and tourism products.

By engaging residents and local leaders through compelling storytelling, collecting their best ideas, and building genuine consensus, we create places with purpose.

The Southern Appalachian Bicycle Association (SABA)

The Southern Appalachian Bicycle Association (SABA) serves cyclists in Western North Carolina, North Georgia, and Eastern Tennessee. 

Road, Mountain, Gravel, Tri? We’re a group of like-minded cyclists with a common goal to educate and promote bicycling in our region, regardless of the genre.

counties: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Lincoln, McDowell and Rutherford.   

G5 Trail Collective

The G5 Trail Collective is a non-profit partnership focused on the backcountry trails in the five counties that make up the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The “G” stands for Grandfather, the “5” is the five counties that make up the district, and the “collective” is us, the users of the district.

Conservation Corps North Carolina

Conservation Corps North Carolina (CCNC) is a program of Conservation Legacy that partners with Conservation Trust for North CarolinaAppalachian Conservation Corps and public land managers in North Carolina. CCNC engages motivated young adults, ages 16-27, to complete challenging and impactful conservation service projects throughout the region. Projects may include trail construction & maintenance, habitat improvement, hazard fuel reduction and ecological restoration.

The Hellbender

The Hellbender Trail builds upon existing and planned infrastructure to provide active transportation options to all ages and abilities to explore, move through, and enjoy our region. The network meaningfully connects communities and destinations for local residents and visitors, promoting the unique aspects of our region for mobility, access, improved health, and economic development.   

Friends of the Valdese Rec

Friends of the Valdese Rec is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit corporation, that supports the Valdese Parks and Recreation Department with volunteer hours and fundraising for the betterment of the Department, while at the same time benefiting the town, the citizens and the environment.

Deep River State Trail

Deep River State Trail of the North Carolina State Parks system would allow for hiking and paddling along the Deep River from Jamestown to Moncure. Deep River became a state trail in 2007 through special legislation in the General Assembly.

Foothills Conservancy

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina inspires conservation in Western North Carolina by permanently protecting land and water for the benefit of people and all living things. Foothills Conservancy serves eight counties: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Lincoln, McDowell and Rutherford.   

Connect Buncombe

Our mission is to encourage and support the implementation of the Greenways and Trails Master Plan and the construction of greenways throughout Buncombe County through public awareness, community education and fundraising activities.

Southern Off Road Bicycle Association (SORBA)

Since 1989, The Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association has worked to ensure that our public lands offer fun, challenging and sustainable mountain biking for all mountain bikers. As the leading mountain biking organization in the southeast, our mission is to create, enhance, and protect great mountain biking experiences in the southeast.

Friends of the Lower Haw River State Natural Area

Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area is an all-volunteer group dedicated to supporting the Lower Haw River State Natural Area in Chatham County, NC.

Yadkin Riverkeeper

Yadkin Riverkeeper is a nonprofit, membership organization whose mission is to protect and enhance the Yadkin Pee Dee River basin through education, advocacy and action. 

McDowell Trails Association

McDowell Trails Association partners with local governments, agencies, clubs and associations in order to create greenways, blueways and non-motorized trails that will promote health, recreational and economic opportunities for residents and visitors in McDowell County.

Duke Energy's TRAILS & Environmental Planning and Development at Rockingham Community College

Duke Energy TRAILS at RCC is the first community college program of its kind in the United States. The program benefits students who want to enter or are currently employed in the fields of outdoor recreation, outdoor education or therapeutic recreation. The EPD program focuses on skills essential to being successful in outdoor recreational asset design, construction, planning, business, and management.

Elkin Valley Trails Association

The mission of the non-profit Elkin Valley Trails Association (EVTA) is to enrich the quality of life in the region by building and promoting a network of multiuse trails. While observing and promoting leave no trace principles, Elkin’s hiking, biking, running, paddling, and equestrian trails promote a healthy lifestyle, provide educational and economic opportunities, preserve our history, and allow for organized events.

Carolinas Concrete Paving Association

Founded in 1963, The American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) is the world’s largest trade association that exclusively represents the interests of those involved with the design, construction, and preservation of concrete pavements.

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Carolina Climbers' Coalition

The Carolina Climber’s Coalition was established January 16, 1995 with the purposes of preserving the natural environment, promoting safe climbing practices and preserving climber’s access to climbing areas in North and South Carolina. CCC is part of a growing movement of organizations that are truly preserving and expanding your climbing opportunities. They continue to work with local, state and federal organizations to help preserve and protect our climbing privileges.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to protect, manage, and advocate for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. The Conservancy leads a vast network of partners, from the agencies and clubs in the cooperative management system to the individuals, organizations, and communities that support their mission and work. The Conservancy balances conservation and recreation by educating visitors and volunteers on responsible recreation and shared stewardship.

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Forest Keeper

Forest Keeper is the only major conservation organization focused on protecting national forests. They are national forest watchdogs who protect over 20 million acres of national forests in the United States. They work in the field, in the courtroom, and in Congress to secure strong, permanent protections for forests.

Learn how all these organizations fit together on the about page:

Chimney Rock State Park
Walnut Creek Trail, Raleigh NC - Alta
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